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    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

My life so far.

JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Definitely better now, some 8 days later. I did my MH booklet 3 last night in solitude in the local beer garden. It was much easier than I'd expected, having not had the chance to tackle it earlier. I found I had actually filled most of it in previously. It was interesting reading my opinion then, which would only have been a few weeks ago. I re-answered the questions and let both answers stand. It's just me at different times. Young woman back to being friendly rather than like last weekend, which is probably more comfortable. Spoke to one of the other staff that was working. I knew her dad from school.

Exercised (much easier, definitely was very ill), took meds. Mood improved just from being back on routines. Let's posit a 5. Slept regularly 11pm-7am. Hungry again. Semi-functional again. Life's so much easier with a stomach.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Need to visit younger sister today. She has scales so I should probably weigh myself too. I only do that like once every 5 years or more so never have an idea where I'll be. I remember weighing myself in around 2009, when I was on quite a lot of medication and wasn't exercising because I'd just finished a fairly physically-demanding job and had been having blackouts. I'd basically not moved much in almost a year and felt I'd put some weight on. I could remember the last time I'd weighed myself before I'd have been about 23 and quite skinny, so maybe about 10 and a half or 11 stone. I figured I'd maybe put half a stone on so got a shock when I was just over 13 stone! I should probably weigh myself more often than every decade.

I've felt like I've had spells of losing weight this year but not sure overall, so no idea what my current weight is. Let's guess 12 stone 9. Wait and see....I'll be about 17 stone and totally unaware.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Got my vaccine. Did booklet 4 as well. Exercised later then went to the pub for two drinks. Back on routines.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Feb 22, 2020
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Minor vaccine side effects. Gave the exercise a miss today. Only realised when writing this post. Quite tired today and a slight temperature after my vaccine. Very minor. Feels like I've had a big dinner and a few glasses of wine. The window is open and I'm in bed sweating! I did cut the grass, I suppose. And took meds. As days go, it's unlikely to feature in the highlights reel. Nor in the lowlights reel. A day of insignificance. I emailed my CPN to rearrange appointment, or maybe she'll say just to go through two booklets next telephone appointment. Don't know. A bit annoyed at getting ill and falling behind but I suppose that's done now. Going back to sleep for the second time. I think I never woke up until midday then fell asleep at 7pm, woke up at 9.30pm, now ready to sleep again at midnight.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Feb 22, 2020
Messages
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Sunday. Stress 6 maybe. Nothing happening. Slept all day and now feel a bit depressed. Get up, eat, exercise, walk dog, do some housework, then go back to bed about 3 hours later. Only remembered to take meds now. Sleeping a crazy amount of time last couple of days. I'll call it side effects but could as easily be me being lazy or a bit depressed. Whatever it is is very minor: mentally - compared to trips to A&E once you're suicidal, or physically - constant spewing. It's an alternate theory of relativity.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Isolation is less scarring; but leaves you smaller, greener, duller, stranger, and with more time to think like this.

I need How To Build A Life 101, possibly preceded by How To Be A Person 101.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Watching one of the silliest movies I've ever seen on The Horror Channel called......Nude Nuns With Big Guns.

It's not a classic! I'm guessing it missed out on the Oscar for Best Cinematography.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Feb 22, 2020
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Scotland
Back on all routines. Mood in the indeterminate, average range, that gets retrospectively defined as better than it was once a lower spell hits. Actual reality has barely changed much other than I've spent some time looking up rather than down; so have directed my energy elsewhere.

I'm not sure where my feelings are recently. It's good to get some respite from the sharper parts of it but I'm not sure what I want. I mean...I have an idea of the things to work towards...I guess....but I don't have much in the way of ambition or wants. Not noble, worthy things. Not even self-serving, short-term things. I feel like I should want things, and want them wholeheartedly, without reservations. Instead, I've become sort of emptier of feeling, passive and following routines. Maybe the drugs do work and the guy out The Verve was wrong? Is this good or bad? I have no idea. I'm only on one tablet a day so it's probably just me being unused to a more flatline interior voice than I had previously. Shades of Winston Smith after the O'Brien interrogation. (I exaggerate for comic effect -- though I think I'm the only person who reads this so it's to amuse me alone, some time in the future.)

Why don't I want things? I could have things. I could be more. Why don't I want to be? Why don't I allow myself that? Why do I feel like so much less than anyone? Why is my response to every disappointment ''okay, I'll expect less'' rather than outrage or drive or anger? Why have I no fight in me? Why don't these thoughts generate that automatically?

The last paragraph probably shifts me to a stress 6. I was going to say 5 (I'm still doing the 'relative to constant vomiting' measure). I'm okay, but I'm really really boring, and kind of pointless really. I don't mean it in a suicidal way. Just functionally. I don't see what my use is. I don't seem to want things. If I think I do then I get to the point where it seems that might arrive and then I avoid that because it throws up more concerns. I'm actively keeping my life empty because I'm too damaged emotionally, and ashamed, to be close to people, or to not have a safety net of utter isolation that I can retreat to at any time, as needed, without explanation? Maybe.

Sometimes I don't know whether I should be helped or punished. I've obviously been the biggest problem in my own life. I've actively worked against my own interests because I've always tried to serve at least two masters; the one that wants to keep me safe and separate, and the one that wants to connect in some manner. I think, as the moods vary, a different master takes charge, and I (whatever 'I' is in this) is just along for the ride.

(Suppose I should put some of these booklets advice to use........so the current thoughts are ones of trying to make me feel like I have less agency in my life than I do. Why would I do that? Fear, maybe? Okay. Pause. Think. Fear = scared = need reassurance. So reassure. If self-critical part wants to make me feel that I have less agency then must take this as a sign that I'm on the correct path and continue. Note - these are how my thoughts tend to attack myself. It tends not to be panicked in the first instance, but is instead a long, ongoing process of diminishing, until I feel powerless and bound to a destination. It can build over many years. The panic, or mania and rushing thoughts in my experience, comes in at the end.)

And that's today's thoughts; for whatever they are worth. I'm continuing through the booklets. I'll do 5A today. Coincidentally, it's called Controlling Panicky Feelings....which I don't have, so this will be good.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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5A and 5B done. I may need to reassess my ''not having feelings of panic'' since, I may not consciously recognise panicked thoughts but I have 10 out of the 12 listed symptoms, at some point or another. Perhaps I simply don't register how I feel a lot of the time unless I retrospectively examine my thoughts and feelings? It's true that anxiety and panic have been acute in the past. To the point of debilitating physical symptoms. As with other things; I need to consciously feel and process things in the moment as much as I can. I take so much of my experience for granted that it doesn't even register as a thing to be noted.

Stress is about 6. I'm not torn up but I am bit prone to introspection, and feel a bit odd and as though carrying a depression demon that can be seen when out around people - as though even my face doesn't sit right at these times. I probably get those thoughts to an extent at anywhere above 5. At a 6 it's just a bit of discomfort. Don't look at reflective surfaces, don't meet any eyes, have your phone as a shield so you can pretend to be engrossed in something when you aren't, take workbooks to read when alone but don't let anyone see what they are. Surround yourself with props. Hide as much of yourself as you can. Do the routines even if you'd rather not today. The world is a bit darker. People are a bit more threatening. It's all projected from my own mood. I know this obviously. Knowing doesn't get around it.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Thursday. Plans today aren't ground-breaking. I'm going to eat lunch, do some washing and hang it out while the weather is good, then take the dog a walk.

No point thinking too much. Just get some sun, keep moving and doing things.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Friday. A touch depressed. Same as last few days. Nothing major. I've not got much going on in my life so minor stuff can trigger dips in mood. I'm full of doubt about myself recently and sleepwalking through the days. I've spent most of today in my room just thinking. I woke up early then had a little bit of physical anxiety symptoms (shaking) which had disappeared for a while.

I think there are parts of me that want different things, and the specific mix of opposing drives balances out to leave me in this sort of empty, limbo life which, deep down, I resent. I don't really expect much for myself, or of myself. I don't really have much concept of wanting things really. I guess I've felt bitter about not having things, but I either do nothing to attain them or actively avoid them. I seem most content, in psychological terms, when left out and bitter. Better that than actually risk failure, embarrassment, or public judgement. And, whichever way I step in any situation, I'll second-guess myself and feel guilty in some fashion, or damage my self-esteem somehow. What a self-destructive, self-limiting, set of prerogatives. Why do I want to fail? Why does it feel so safe and familiar? Am I just scared of a new reality that I don't understand so will cling to the one I know inside-out?

I'm overstating the importance of really minor events but my thoughts have been in that direction. I'm questioning my lack of motivation and ambition and imagination. If there is a choice to be a new, better person, with a better life, then I'm worried I'd subconsciously opt for the old familiar existence just because it's all I've known. I suppose that comes back to my original worry about mental health. A lot of therapy that I've seen is about taking someone who has had a breakdown, and getting them back to the normal life they remember. I'm worried that I've lived some weird, detached life for so long that that's all I'm good for. And I know some therapist would say, ''well, who is to say what is weird or acceptable or good?'', and the answer is me. My life is weird, and pathetic, and cowardly, and small, and I'm ashamed of it, and yet....it's what I know. The comfort of the familiar. At times of panic then people will opt for that quite often. Is this panic? It doesn't feel like it. It's just rumination or trying to figure things out.

I wish I knew my nature better. There's some weird blend of competing priorities that even I don't really understand. I can detail parts but I never see the full picture so I've always got more questions than answers. Maybe I have a magnifying glass and need to stop magnifying every minor fluctuation in order to get a wider view? Don't know. Anyway....daily diary so daily entry when I remember. Today's is in the rambling, full of doubt category.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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I'd wish myself good luck but I wouldn't know what to do with it if I got it. That's a Glengarry Glen Ross (paraphrased) quote.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Same anxious way this morning. My routine at the moment seems to be waking up very early in the morning and doing my ruminating then. I'm trying to take in the stuff in the booklets and incorporate that when I can remember, so I noted the shaking, used deep breathing to slow oxygen intake, then thought I'd get the daily diary entry out the way. This stuff seems so minor that it's hardly worth detailing but it's just a note that some stuff is seeping into my thoughts. I'm trying to be more aware and proactive rather than always being reactive or, worse, non-reactive to building stress.

I feel unaware, and kind of dumb, or dull, but I don't know that I am entirely because I also feel hypersensitive a lot of the time, and that seems a mix of opposites. There's also too much 'I' in my thoughts. It's not healthy. I suppose, it's a bit chicken and egg. Does the solitary life come first or the self-involvement? Each invites the other.

My thoughts tend to becomes increasingly self-attacking the more I dwell in them but I really don't enjoy the empty-headed feeling either. Back to the Goldilocks (my Goldilocks concept; not the one in the stress booklets, or the astronomers one) problem of never finding, knowing or recognizing happy mediums. Do they exist? Or does the weight-obsessed person always look too fat or thin to their own mind, for example, no matter if they are tilted one percent one way or the other? Is it all in the mind? It has to be, as that's where all judgment and reckoning is. Yet the guy in the mental ward who thinks he's Napoleon, isn't Napoleon. Keep digging in this direction and I could end up being Napoleon! :) Each question brings a further question. The nature of reality: do I really want cling to these thoughts because it's all I know? How much choice do I actually have?

Even outside of the measuring problem there is the problem of motivations. If half your body says turn left, and the other says turn right, then neither will get what they think they want (and the 'think' in that is further complications because then there's the concept of the person who thinks they want something, then they get it and find themselves in some new reality they can't control, which feels like an increase in stress and worry and uncontrollable aspects).

I guess I'm, somewhat subconsciously, trying to think of things I want, and to plan a life for myself. I'm coming up pretty empty in ideas and that brought the self-critical stuff. I suspect my thoughts are more neurotic than most people. I naturally challenge my own positive thoughts with negative thoughts, when the actual work in the booklets is about doing the very opposite. Although I'm not sure these thoughts are entirely negative. They don't exactly bolster me, or make me feel better about myself, but they don't seem entirely false to me either. Plainly stated, hyperbolic maybe, but it's an important question. What do I want? Why don't I want?
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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I suppose I should challenge as I've been taught. If I'm climbing some symbolic mountain then I should just keep climbing and maybe as the view changes things will becomes clearer? I have to hope that. I can't be this small forever. No point beating myself up because I'm still not where I hope to be.

It's kind of funny how alone and without comfort or support I feel at times like this, then I remember my own asocial nature and tendency to run away from or distance myself from people, and you think, ''well, I guess that makes sense''. And, again, it's chicken and egg. I forget which came first. After a while, they just go together as a pair. But I can't settle for that. Whatever psychological mix I have, it doesn't work, so something in me has to change somewhere.

I've done enough thinking today. Maybe too much. I said I'd visit a friend days ago so I'll try to do that today. Maybe we'll go play pool somewhere. I haven't done that in years. I don't mention it here because it's something I dropped years ago, but I used to spend a lot of my time playing between the ages of about 14 and 30. After that, you hit an age when you start questioning the wisdom of spending so much time doing something that is intrinsically so pointless. Then the health stuff and the blackouts came, then the medication for it, the agoraphobia, and my pool playing died out. I hated it at the end. Since then I've only occasionally played because my friend is still playing and occasionally wants a game. We haven't played in about 3 or 4 years now though, or I haven't, so I should be pretty terrible. If I can get the car this afternoon then I'll do that.
 
JamesWM2051

JamesWM2051

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Messages
328
Location
Scotland

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